By Mr. Alex Ross, Head of Social Studies, Junior School
Using social responsibility, innovative inquiry and active empathy as touchstones, the junior school social studies program cultivates an interest and respect for the past while giving students the opportunity to reflect on the present. Students are encouraged to share opinions, understand others’ perspectives and demonstrate an ability to think critically, as their cultural literacy evolves in tandem with their knowledge and understanding of the world around them.
Here are recent highlights in each of the grade levels:
JK students started their travel unit and their first travel destination was Space! Students “packed” suitcases and thought of what would be important to bring to space. They created special space passports and talked about what it means to travel and what we can learn from travelling. They are looking forward to exploring all the planets and stars before making their way back to Earth to travel the world!
In kindergarten, students are further discussing the concept of community, equality and fairness. They have had lots of sharing circles and important conversations about basic human rights, connecting these to Black Shirt Day and Martin Luther King Day.
In grade 1, students are developing their understanding of communities by learning about urban versus rural environments. After reading City Mouse, Country Mouse, they wrote about whether they would like to live in the city or country and why.
In grade 2, students have been learning about the roles and responsibilities of government in Canada, with a focus on municipal government. Students are excited to participate in a mock election.
In grade 3, they have been learning about the Northwest Coast First Nations peoples' community organization prior to contact with the Europeans.
In grade 4, classes have continued to learn about Indigenous cultures, with a focus on the Inuit. They learned about culture, food and housing, and were particularly interested in the precision it takes to build an igloo. To conclude this unit, they have been creating a travel guide for Nunavut.
In grade 5, students are exploring the experiences of Canadian immigrants by completing their Memory Trunk projects. This project was shared by designing a 3D museum space in CoSpaces.
Grade 6 has been learning about how and why economic self-interest can cause conflict among people, groups and governments. Using the Sen̓áḵw Development, students are learning about the concept of stakeholders.
As part of their justice unit, grade 7 students were assigned a case study, where they had to form an evidence-based perspective to argue what would be considered ethical preservation of their assigned ancient artifact.